Pokémon Rumble / Melee! Pokemon Scramble

Melee! Pokémon Scramble

In Melee! Pokémon Scramble (English title: Pokémon Rumble), you take control of a variety of windup toys. Toys though they may be, these are still Pokémon, and as such they are driven by a desire to battle and defeat other Pokémon. The game opens with a Rattata sneaking into the Battle Royale arena, only to lose badly. Undeterred, it sets out to find new partners who can help it win…

Controls

Gameplay

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

The objective of the game is to win all of the Battle Royales, moving from C Grade through S Grade, and become Pokémon Champion! However, only the most powerful Pokémon are allowed to compete in Battle Royales, and the door to the arena won’t even open until a worthy Pokémon is on your team. As a result, the bulk of the game consists of going into dungeons and recruiting Pokémon to fight for you. Once you have a strong enough Pokémon, you can enter the arena, win the Battle Royale, and repeat the process for the next Grade.

Pokémon Scramble differs from most Pokémon games in that the player has direct control over the Pokémon, and the Pokémon battles multiple enemies at once. The game is extremely simple and fast-paced, even compared to the similar Pokémon Dungeon games.

Pokémon can be recruited in one of two ways. Every time you defeat a Pokémon toy in battle, there is a small chance that the toy will fall to the ground, allowing you to pick it up and add it to your party–which has unlimited space. The majority of the time, the defeated Pokémon will drop “P”, which is the currency of the game. P can then be used to recruit Pokémon at the recruitment kiosk in the hubworld.

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

In addition to fighting hoards of Pokémon in the dungeons, before exiting, your Pokémon will face off against an enormous “boss” Pokémon and its regenerating army of normal-sized Pokémon. As with other Pokémon, the boss will sometimes drop as a toy – and once recruited, it will be a normal sized Pokémon. Generally, it will drop a large coin instead. Either way, there is a huge cash bonus for beating it. Beating a boss also results in all enemy Pokémon becoming stronger, moving you towards your goal of defeating and recruiting a Pokémon strong enough for the Battle Royale.

So, the flow of the game is: run through dungeons, defeat Bosses, enter the Battle Royale, grade up, run through dungeons, defeat Bosses, enter the Battle Royale, grade up, etc.

Game Mechanics

Like in any Pokémon game, there are several mechanics that drive how the game works.

Attacks

While Pokémon generally have access to four attacks, the toys in Scramble can have a maximum of two attacks. Wild Pokémon have their moves doled out randomly, meaning that two Pokémon of the same species are seldom identical. Since the Pokémon in Scramble can’t level up or evolve, they never learn new moves on their own. Fortunately, new moves can be taught in exchange for P at the move kiosk in the hubworld.

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot - Uproar

While all of the Pokémon attacks come from the DS games, many of them function differently in Scramble. Some attacks, such as Tackle, simply hit the target in front of your battling Pokémon, but most attacks have a unique range and strategy. For example, Aqua Jet fires in a straight line, and can hit a Pokémon standing far away. Vine Whip fires 2 whips at 45 degree angles, hitting Pokémon on the periphery. Confusion launches a large ball of energy which lands several feet in front of your Pokémon—it can hit multiple targets, but completely misses those at close range. Uproar targets all Pokémon within a small radius of the attacker. Since you’re outnumbered, it’s important to use these moves to “zone” your opponents. Also of note, all attacks have unlimited PP, meaning that low-PP/high reward moves like Blizzard and Ancientpower are extremely useful in Scramble.

Type matchups, Weakness, and Resistance do come into play, but aren’t as critical a factor as in the DS games. Immunities are a nonissue; Ghosts can be damaged with Fighting moves, Poison-types can be Poisoned, there’s no Water Absorb or Levitate.

Strength Value

All Pokémon have a Strength value, which is determined by overall stats. The initial Rattata’s Strength value is 26, for example, because it has low HP and only 1 attack. The Pokémon from the dungeons will start out around the same Strength, but as you defeat bosses, they’ll start to become stronger. Unlike most Pokémon, the toys in Scramble do not level up or evolve, which means that you’ll be constantly rotating your fighters as you obtain more powerful toys.

Special Abilities

Although it isn’t reflected in the Strength number, some Pokémon have special abilities which make them stronger than average. These Pokémon have pet names, such as “Attack Charmeleon” or “Knockout Pidgeot,” and on the roster, these Pokémon’s names are pink instead of white.

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Pokémon Grade

Related to the Strength value is the Pokémon’s Grade. Depending on their Strength, Pokémon can be Grade C, B, A, or S. The Pokémon are quarantined on different floors depending on this Grade. When you begin the game, you’ll be on the C Grade floor, and all of the Pokémon you encounter will be C Grade. Once you win the C Grade Battle Royale, you’ll be able to move up to the B Grade floor and B Grade Pokémon; once you win the B Grade Battle Royale, you’ll be able to move to the A Grade floor and A Grade Pokémon; and so on.

Shiny Pokémon

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

As in the DS games, all Pokémon encountered in Scramble have a small chance of being alt-colored/shiny. Apart from the color, they’re no different from ordinary Pokémon. Their names are highlighted in blue on the roster.

To celebrate the release of Scramble, The Pokémon Company has already made one shiny Pokémon widely available through its password feature: a shiny version of the starring Rattata. For more information, scroll down to the Passwords section.

Reading the Status Screen

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Pressing the A button while in the hubworld brings up the Pokémon roster, and highlighting a Pokémon brings up its status screen. The top left portion of the screen shows the Pokémon’s name, Strength value, Type(s), and HP. Some Pokémon have a blue circle with an exclamation point next to the Strength value, which indicates that they came from the recruitment kiosk.

The top right portion of the screen rates the Pokémon’s Attack and Defense from 1-5, with 5 dots being the highest. These are the base stats for the entire species, and don’t necessarily represent the abilities of the individual Pokémon. (Think of these like base stats in the DS game: all Articuno have a base Defense of 100, but can have a stat of 6 or 330 depending on factors like level and nature.) The Strength value is the best gauge of an individual Pokémon’s power.

On the lower portion of the screen, the Pokémon’s attacks are also rated from 1-5, with 5 stars being the highest. STAB attacks have gold stars instead of white. The star value represents the amount of damage dealt by the attack, but doesn’t take into account range, startup time, etc., so 5 star attacks aren’t always the “best” attacks. You’ll have to experiment with different attacks to find out which ones are your favorites.

The bottom of the screen gives an explanation of the Pokémon’s pet name/ability if it happens to have one.

Dungeons

Upon entering a dungeon, you’re given 3 keys for winding up your Pokémon toys. As long as a Pokémon has HP remaining, it can be switched out and have its key transferred to another Pokémon with no consequences. One has to time these switches carefully, though, since there is a short delay while winding the new toy, and if the old Pokémon is damaged during this time, the switch is canceled. If a Pokémon loses all of its HP before being switched out, its key breaks. If all 3 keys break, the team is booted from the dungeon and you’ll have to restart. However, recruited Pokémon remain on the team, and no P is lost, so there really isn’t any penalty for losing.

Melee! Pokémon Scramble Screenshot - 'New' and 'Strong'

After completing a dungeon, win or lose, the game will tell you how many Pokémon you Knocked Out, and if you’re playing co-op, will compare the players’ scores. Then, it will display all of the Pokémon recruited during the run. New species will be marked as such, and if any of the Pokémon are particularly strong, they will be marked as well.

There are six dungeons in Scramble, each containing five floors and a boss room. Regardless of which Grade floor you’re on, the same six dungeons are present. The only thing that changes are the Pokémon you can encounter.

Serenity Forest

Gravel Cave

Shining Beach

Windy Meadow

Flame Furnace

Eternity Tower

The Battle Royale

Melee! Pokémon Scramble Screenshot - Battle Arena

Battle Royales function a little bit differently than dungeon battles. Most notably, Pokémon can’t be switched, and must fight until they win or are Knocked Out. In other words, only three of your Pokémon will get to battle, since keys break upon a Knock Out, and you only have three keys. The second point of note is that there is a time limit, and if the enemy Pokémon aren’t defeated by the time the clock hits 0:00, you automatically lose. To help with this, instead of the usual drops, defeated Pokémon leave stop watches which add 5 seconds to the clock. Along with the clock, in the corner of the screen there is a counter, which displays the number of Pokémon remaining that must be defeated.

The battle arena is set up somewhat like a boxing ring, with ropes fencing it in. These ropes should be avoided, as they will damage your Pokémon on contact and send it flying across the arena. Enemy Pokémon are also affected by the ropes, so it’s a good idea to knock them in that direction. Due to the enclosed space and sheer number of Pokémon involved, Battle Royales are extremely chaotic, and enemy Pokémon often end up knocking each other out while aiming for your Pokémon.

Before the fight begins, you’ll be shown silhouettes of “Powerful Rivals.” These Pokémon show up during the fight, usually appearing after you’ve defeated a wave of normal Pokémon. They are as strong as dungeon bosses, but aren’t oversized.

The arena on each floor is blocked off until you hit certain Strength requirements. For example, to access the C Grade arena, you must have at least 1 Pokémon with a Strength of at least 100.

Melee! Pokémon Scramble Screenshot - Powerful Rival

Hubworld

Scramble has a hubworld, from which the arena and other areas can be accessed. Apart from minor cosmetic differences, the hub is identical regardless of what “Grade” floor you’re on. The dungeons are also identical at every Grade, only the Pokémon change.

The arena is at the top of the hub. To its left is a trampoline that takes you to the previous Grade floor, and to its right is a trampoline to the next Grade (if unlocked). The left three dungeons, from top to bottom are Serenity Forest, Gravel Tunnel, and Shining Beach, and the right three dungeons, from top to bottom are Windy Meadow, Flame Furnace, and Eternity Tower.

Melee! Pokémon Scramble Screenshot - Kiosks

At the bottom of the hub screen, there are several kiosks that you can access. The top row, from left to right is Recruit Partner, Release Partner, Learn Move; and the bottom row from left to right is Write to Wiimote, Multiplayer, Collection, and Information.

Multiplayer

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Although Scramble functions as a single player game, multiplayer mode is where it really shines. To start a multiplayer game, first load your single player save, then go to the multiplayer kiosk. The wii will automatically detect any connected controllers (up to 4). Simply press start when all players have selected their starting Pokémon. If you lack 4 wiimotes, never fear–in this mode (and this mode alone) it is possible to use Gamecube controllers, nunchucks, and classic controllers in addition to wiimotes. 2 players can even share a single wiimote, with one person using the wiimote and one person using the classic controller or nunchuck. (For the nunchuck, Z functions as button 2, C as button 1, and both buttons together as A. There is no substitute for the +/start button, and there is no waggle function.)

If you are playing alone and happen to dislike the default wiimote controls, it is possible to start a multiplayer game with only one player just to activate the GCN/classic controller compatibility. It isn’t possible to play a single player game with the nunchuck, as the nunchuck lacks a +/start button to start the game.

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Since multiplayer is an extension of the single player game, all Pokémon and P collected in single player mode are transferable to multiplayer mode, and vice versa. In multiplayer mode, all resources are pooled: players select Pokémon from the same roster (meaning that two people can’t use the same Pokémon), in dungeons and Battle Royales the three keys are shared between all players (so if one player gets Knocked Out three times, or if three players get Knocked Out once each, the group loses), and all players have free access to collected P and kiosks. (meaning that yes, it is possible to be a HUGE jerk in multiplayer).

If a player happens to have a wiimote with their own Scramble Pokémon saved to it, they can use those Pokémon in addition to whatever’s on the host player’s roster. A second player connected to that wiimote via the classic controller or nunchuck may also use those Pokémon.

Although enemy Pokémon can damage each other in the dungeons and Battle Royale, players can not damage their allies. At the end of each level, the game ranks players in terms of who Knocked Out the most Pokémon.

Another Mode

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

After defeating Mewtwo and winning the S Grade Battle Royale, you’ll be given the option of continuing your current game in Normal Mode, or restarting in “Another Mode”. Another Mode will put you back on the C Grade floor, with all of your Pokémon and money, but with the arena and higher floors locked. You’ll have to battle through the Grades once again, while facing Pokémon beyond the first 150, who are much stronger than even the S Grade opponents from Normal Mode.

Once you begin a game in Another Mode, you can move back and forth between Normal Mode and Another Mode freely. You’ll retain all money and Pokemon earned in both modes, and you can bring your Sinnoh Pokemon into the Normal Mode arenas and dungeons.

Serenity Forest

Gravel Cave

Shining Beach

Windy Meadow

Flame Furnace

Eternity Tower

Battle Royale

Kiosks

The kiosks are also back in Another Mode, with increased prices. At the recruitment kiosks C Grade is 10000, B Grade is 12000, A Grade is 16000, S Grade is 20000. At the attack kiosks, C Grade is 2500, B Grade is 3000 A Grade is 4000, S Grade is 5000.

Extra Mode

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Clearing the S Grade Battle Royale in Another Mode unlocks Extra Mode. In Extra Mode, all Pokémon are EX Grade (Strength of 1700-2400). The dungeons contain a random mix of the Pokémon that appeared there in Normal and Another Mode. Additionally, Mesprit occasionally appears in Serenity Forest, Uxie in Gravel Cave, and Azelf in Flame Furnace.

The EX Grade Battle Royale is a rehash of all previous Battle Royales (same mobs and rivals are present), and you must clear two rounds without losing to advance. Keys are replenished in between rounds, but damaged Pokémon are not healed and Knocked Out Pokémon remain Knocked Out.

The kiosks return in Extra Mode as well. Recruitment costs 24000P and moves cost 6000P.

Passwords

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Passwords can be redeemed at the recruitment kiosk. Simply click on the second option on the recruitment menu, and enter any of these passwords to receive a great Pokémon. Each password can only be redeemed once.

Special Tickets

Melee! Pokemon Scramble Screenshot

Releasing 5 copies of the same Pokémon at the release kiosk results in a Ticket for a Pokémon from the released Pokémon’s evolution line. However, by releasing certain combinations of Pokémon, it is possible to obtain Tickets for entirely new Pokémon, including Pokémon that don’t appear in the wild.


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